A Moment of Silence

I am surprised by how bitterly I mourn the death of Benjy.

This is partly due to the actor, who I found very appealing, and who managed to make a strong impression with not much screen time. His habitually grave, serious expression was appropriate for someone living in the shadow of the DiMera legacy. And when he gave Steve the devil card and kissed him on both cheeks, the gravity of his expression deepened into one of mournfulness and a consciousness of his own perfidy.

I mourn him, too, because of the missed opportunities for this character. More than Lexie, he could have truly been the good DiMera. His backstory with Steve could have been fleshed out in very interesting ways. Steve’s selection as the new DiMera pawn back in 1990 could have been explicitly linked to his role in rescuing Benjy two years earlier. The DiMeras could have tortured or brainwashed Steve into revealing Benjy’s whereabouts, and then used them both as hostages for each other. EJ and Benjy could have been brought up together under the DiMera shadow, with young EJ embracing the legacy of evil from a young age, and Benjy (influenced by the kindness Steve still shows him, even in his brainwashed state) resisting it. But their shared childhood could have been a bond that extended into adulthood.

No doubt Benjy’s death is an attempt by TPTB to ramp up the stakes of the feud, which thus far (on this go-round) has involved a lot of drama and near-death experiences, but which has added up to very little. (I could of course have suggested many other characters who I would rather have seen get the chop.) And I hope that they will do something with it.

Steve seems to think that Benjy’s death is a retaliation against him, because he’s been playing the DiMeras all summer long. It’s plausible, and this could lead to some interesting drama for Steve and Kayla, and also for the DiMeras. For instance, we’re still not sure if Stefano knew whose liver he was getting. It was implied that he didn’t, but he seems to be aware of it now. Why doesn’t he care? As the psycho card has been increasingly pawned off on Andre, I’m not sure exactly what Stefano is thinking right now. Joe Mascolo is bringing a wonderful haunted quality to his performance these days, haunted by the father who was lost to him after Colleen’s death, but the show needs to flesh out his current state of mind.

In fact, that needs to be done for all the DiMeras. We need to know how Stefano, Andre, and EJ truly feel about the feud right now. At the beginning of the summer, there were some wonderfully layered scenes with those three (of course we thought Andre was Tony then), as Andre and EJ competed to be Stefano’s true heir. The show desperately needs to revisit the family dynamic and how it has been altered by the Andre/Tony reveal, by Tony’s return, by the legacy of Santo, and now by Benjy’s death. If Benjy’s death isn’t forgotten about next week, if it truly creates a schism in the DiMera family, and we really get to see the aftershocks for Steve, and see how everyone is affected by it, maybe I could be reconciled.

I would hate to think Benjy will have died in vain.

6 thoughts on “A Moment of Silence

  1. i am also really upset about the death of benjy and the loss of jim lunsford, who was truly wonderful in the role. what a wasted opportunity. i too hope his death will have lasting ramifications.

  2. I will miss Benjy too. And just the fact his character’s death will probably be brushed aside by everyone other than Steve/Kayla (possibly Stefano) makes me especially sad.

    And the actor was a good actor and there was a lot they could have done with him. Sigh.

  3. I hope that Sheffer realizes that he could still use him a la Whedon (just b/c you’re dead doesn’t mean you’re not off the show).

    There are all of Steve’s missing years, we could have him encountering Benjy then in a flashback.

    Surely someone could be haunted by him.

    Where’s the First when you need it?

  4. You raised some excellent points about Stefano in particular–why hasn’t he addressed whose liver he’s got? Will he give Benjy a proper funeral, or even grieve for him, instead of sexing Kate up? I want to see Stefano confronting Andre about this–of course, I guess he would only confront him if he didn’t order Benjy’s death, but I admit I’m still puzzled about why Benjy was killed off. I’m not sure I buy Steve’s theory, since it required the sacrifice of one of their own. I so agree that I don’t want this to be just another minor plot that goes nowhere and everybody forgets next week.

  5. This could have been such a wonderful storyline with Stefano, Benjy, Steve, Andre, EJ, and Tony. Especially the Dimeras. I always sort of thought of them as DAYS Corrleone (sp?) family. EJ in the beginning was the young Michael who eventually turns to the “family business” and takes over. The power struggle between EJ and Andre could escalate and chaos reigns with innocent blood being shed. But I fear that those viewers who never saw the original Benjy s/l will care very little for Benjy’s death as his character was so grossly under-used. The missed opportunities are almost mind numbing. Plus we’ve seen so little interaction between Benjy and the Johnson family that the pay off isn’t quite what it should have been.

    I do love the scenes between Steve and Stefano. The two actors really connect and give us such nicely layered performances.

  6. Well, today we found out that Stefano didn’t order Benjy’s death, and there was some wonderful discussion about Benjy between Steve and Stefano. (Though the “pointing a gun at Stefano as he yells ‘Do it!'” is getting old.) I loved it when Steve talked about how Benjy lived in fear of getting The Call from Stefano. But how much more wonderful it would have been if the show had dramatized that conflict while Benjy was alive, instead of just talking about it after he died. Sigh.

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